A 21-year-old Canadian from Calgary is the hottest pitcher in baseball and tops an impressive list of young pitchers around the majors in 2019. Mike Soroka will seek another standout performance as he makes the 13th start of his young career tonight in St. Louis. The Braves got off to a good start last night against the Cardinals.
They secured a 5-2 win behind a quality performance by Mike Foltynewicz. He was looking for a start like that after struggling for a while. Foltynewicz was able to get the confidence boost, allowing no runs across 6 innings of work. The Cardinals threatened, but he was able to get out of trouble without any damage on the board.
The Braves are going to need Foltynewicz pitching like he did last season for a chance at the Phillies in the NL East. After last night, the Braves are 29-23 and 1.5 games behind the Phillies for 1st in the division. It’s shaping up to be a battle between the Braves and Phillies for the top spot. The Mets are 5.5 games back of 1st and the Nationals and Marlins are already well out of the picture.
Atlanta and Philadelphia are equally matched teams who likely are going to be near each other often this season. With Soroka pitching like this, the Braves might have the x-factor on their roster. The Cardinals are searching for an x-factor or anybody who wants to play baseball recently.
After winning their second in seven games, the Cardinals went straight back to losing baseball Friday night. They enter Saturday with a record of 2-6 in their previous eight games as their slide since the beginning of May keeps on going deeper. 24-year-old Dakota Hudson will get the first touch of the rubber for the Cardinals on Saturday. Head below for our free Braves vs. Cardinals pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick:
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The Cardinals are a team that went from playing pretty good baseball to open the season to looking like a team who belong in the basement. It all happened rather quickly as well. The Cardinals had just gone 10-1 before everything started to unravel. The last game of that stretch was on May 1st, and since then, the Cardinals have won just five games.
They’ve gone 5-15 in their previous 20 games and have to deal with a hot pitcher on Saturday to avoid their 16th loss in less than a month. It’s been a little bit of this and a little bit of that for the Cardinals. The offense and pitching have both been spotty, as they’ve shared equal blame for this early season collapse.
Mike Soroka hasn’t made things easy on any team he’s played this season. The bats have gone ice cold against Soroka in the seven outings he’s made in 2019. After 44.2 innings of ball, Soroka hasn’t allowed more than 1 run in any start. With an ERA of 1.01 and 0.87 WHIP, he’s put himself on a pretty big pedestal early in the season.
It’s only May, but the rookie has himself as a Cy Young candidate going into June. Along with a spectacular ERA, Soroka hasn’t allowed more than 5 hits in a start yet. He’s allowed an average of just 3.5 hits per game in his seven outings.
If Soroka resembles anything close to what he’s done so far this season, Dakota Hudson is going to have a major challenge on his hands. Hudson has certainly escaped more trouble than he’s been in this season. He owns an ERA of 4.40 and it could be worse than that.
Hudson has put too many runners on base, as his 1.70 WHIP and .370 OBA indicates. It’s been slightly worse at home with a 1.75 WHIP and .382 OBA in St. Louis. In his last two outings he gave up 14 hits and 4 walks in 12 innings. Hudson was able to get out of it with only 5 runs allowed, though. He’s not going to be able to do that against a pitcher as hot as Soroka is right now. The Braves at this price looks like a fairly solid deal on Saturday.